Top court asks govt to remove SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza

Top court asks govt to remove SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday remarked that the government had not done anything at this point to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed — is hearing the case. Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed resumed hearing a suo motu case related to the situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis and the steps being taken by the federal government to curb the spread of the epidemic.

During the hearing, CJP Ahmed questioned the credentials of the Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza and ordered the removal of the special assistant.

“There is an army of ministers and advisors in place but no work is being done,” the CJP observed. He also alleged that “corrupt people” have been kept as advisors in the government.

Responding to the CJP's comments regarding dismissing Mirza, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said removing the PM's aide at this point and time would be disastrous.

"Do not change him mid-flight," he said, urging the court to leave the matter up to the federal government.

On Saturday, in response to CJP’s suo motu notice, the federal government assured the top court that authorities all possible measures being taken to curtail the rapid spread of the virus in the country.

As a preventive measure, 83 thermal scanners have so far been installed at various locations. Moreover, special counters have been set up to facilitate travelers and suspected coronavirus patients at all international airports, the top court was informed.

In line with other initiatives taken by the state to tackle the crisis, surveillance on the crossing of Taftan, Chaman and Torkham border has been tightened and quarantine centres for suspected patients have been established in 154 districts across the country.